steel

The first stop in our series on the Ports of Indiana was Burns Harbor, an international maritime facility in the heart of steel country. Four hours down Interstate 65, the Port of Jeffersonville is less a port and more a manufacturing hub that happens to be on the Ohio River.

For the next part of our series, Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Annie Ropeik reports Jeffersonville is pushing ahead with expansions to cement its place in the Midwest industrial corridor.

Indiana’s ports move millions of tons each year of the stuff that’s made and used at Midwest factories, including steel, grains and coal. The three ports – one on Lake Michigan and two on the Ohio River – connect Indiana to the national and global economies, and each has to find its own ways to keep up with change.

For the first part of a three-part series, we visited the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor to see how it’s secured its place in the steel industry.

Steelworkers from around the country were in D.C. this week to ask Congress to strengthen its support for the domestic steel industry.

Among them was Billy McCall, who’s worked at U.S. Steel’s huge Gary Works mill for more than 20 years.

He and other United Steelworkers union members talked with federal representatives this week about an ongoing trade investigation into the effect of excess Chinese steel imports on national security.

McCall says that’s about not just defense, but infrastructure and people.

 

President-elect Donald Trump is doubling down on his criticisms of U.S. trade relationships with China and Mexico, which has some wondering if a trade war is in the works.

Purdue University economist Larry DeBoer says the hallmark of a trade war is retaliation.

For example, higher U.S. taxes on Chinese steel imports could make China chooser to buy fewer American products, including those from Indiana, like soybeans or engine parts.

But DeBoer says even threat of a trade war is already affecting Hoosiers.

A Minnesota steel company is spending almost $9 million dollars to grow its operations at the Port of Indiana in Burns Harbor, as state officials say they’ll prioritize Indiana ports and infrastructure investment in 2017.

Ratner Steel Supply plans to double the size of its four-year-old operations in Portage, just east of Gary.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation says Ratner will add a few dozen jobs and expand its ability to ship steel across the Region.

A judge has thrown out an antitrust claim against China by U.S. Steel. It’s the latest twist in the Northwest Indiana steel giant’s months-long bid to ban Chinese steel imports.

International Trade Commission Administrative Law Judge Dee Lord rejected the Pittsburgh-based company’s antitrust complaint against China. But it’s not the only trade case that U.S. Steel has in the works with the ITC.

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A steelworker was killed at U.S. Steel's Gary Works plant last Friday. It's the second death there this year, and it comes amid rising tensions over safety and staffing at the plant.

Data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration shows 28 primary metal manufacturing workers were killed on the job across the country in 2014. Two of those deaths were in Indiana, about average for the past few years.

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Srinivasan Chandrasekar / Purdue University

Researchers at Purdue University have found a way to fix a long-standing issue in manufacturing, where cutting a piece of metal can make its edges splinter or break apart.

They hope their solution will reap big savings in fuel and production costs.

The problem is called a shear-band. It's a deformity that occurs when a cutting machine pushes through metal, scrunching up its edges at a microscopic level.

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The U.S. Commerce Department is using a new monitoring system to shed light on how steel moves around the world.

Industry watchers say it could drive long-term policy changes to protect American steel from the effects of foreign trade.

 

The first installment of the new Global Steel Trade Monitor ranked China first in the world for steel exports, and the U.S. first for imports.

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A federal trade board has sided with the American steel industry this week, ruling that China harmed U.S. companies with unfair business practices.

But, U.S. steelmakers won't get the all-out ban on Chinese imports they requested.

The ruling is a victory for Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel, which asked the International Trade Commission to recommend a ban on Chinese steel earlier this year.

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